Piyush, a drink that could best be described as a close cousin to Lassi is one of the most popular cold drinks specially enjoyed in pockets of Mumbai. This is one drink that evokes a sense of nostalgia in me. Allow me the luxury of narrating this tale of nostalgia before we head over to recipe.
As soon as our annual exams would get over, my Mother would assign me the responsibility of saving the old books and stationary before I could even think of enjoying my vacation. I am sure kids reading this blog would find this situation difficult to relate to, but those who grew up in 90s would relate with much ease.
Before we could even let our imaginations wander thinking about all the fun things that we would do during those two and a half months of vacation, study table and its drawers had to cleaned up. The books of past year would be tightly bound and put in a cloth bag-which would then be donated to library or a needy child. It also included removing blank pages from the notebooks and collating them as per its types-blank, single liners and double liners. These pages would then be sent for machine binding and the notebook made from these pages would be used as a practice notebook-particularly for Mathematics.
My father would accompany me to such binding press on one of the weekends. These press were located in Lalbaug- a place in Mumbai which is immensely popular for its Ganesh idol (affectionately known as ‘Lalbaugcha Raja-King of Lalbaug’) installed during Ganesh festival. It has attained a unique distinction of being a mini-pilgrimage for Mumbaikars and for devotees who horde this place during 10 days of Ganesh festival. To provide some perspective about this popularity, if you decide to make a visit, be prepared to stand in a queue for almost 12 -16 hours (may be even more). Lalbaug was also popular for book binding press. My father and me would go to these binding press for notebook binding.
Lalbaug is also well known amongst foodies circle for varied kind of food that one can find here in numerous Udupi restaurants serving South Indian Cuisine, food joints serving authentic Maharashtrian food and the famous sweet shop for which Lalbaug is popular in Mumbai-‘Ladu Samrat’.
This was the time I would look forward to-spending some fun time with my Papa. Once we had handed over the pages to book binding press, we would head over immediately to these food joints and gorge on hot Wada Pav, Bhajiya, Medu Vada, Misal and many such dishes that my father could afford and would buy affectionately for me. Finally, we would culminate our food excursion with this cold and Sweet drink-Piyush.
As I often professed, most of my recipes are centered around these fond memories of food. Each of these recipes evoke a sense of nostalgia in me.
With that backdrop, let me walk you through Piyush. Piyush, a drink that could best be described as a close cousin to Lassi, however, they both are different in nature. Piyush is sweeter, thicker than Lassi. It is made up with Shrikhand blended with yogurt or thick buttermilk, as per one’s choice of consistency. Made quite rich with addition of saffron strands, dry nuts and flavored with nutmeg / cardamom powder, this drink is absolute a treat to your senses. In humid summers of Mumbai, people do prefer to drink Piyush and skip on heavy meals. It is said that Piyush was first made in a small eatery “Tambe Arogya Bhuvan” located in Dadar, Mumbai. Started in 1941, this eatery is still open in Dadar serving authentic Maharashtrian food. They don’t use flavorings other than nutmeg and saffron in their Piyush. If you get a chance to roam around in Mumbai and you really want to enjoy the glimpse of a Mumbai’s lifestyle do visit Dadar and this eatery too!
If you have been through this read till now, I would like to thank you for reading on my story so patiently and now I should share the recipe. Here is the recipe for Piyush.
- 3 Cups=600gms Curd
- 1 Cup=250gms Mango Shrikhand
- 1 Cup=250gms Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand (Saffron-Cardamom flavored)
- 4 tbsp=60gms Sugar
- ¼th tsp Nutmeg Powder
- ¼th tsp Cardamom powder
- For Garnishing (Saffron strands and Pistachios)
- We will begin with making Saffron-Cardamom flavored Piyush. In this recipe, we are using total 600 gms Curd, of which 300 gms will be used in this variant of Piyush, and remaining 300 gms Curd will be used for making Mango Piyush.
- Put Curd in a blender jar. Add Kesar-Elaichi (Saffron-Cardamom) flavored Shrikhand. This is a Home-made Shrikhand. You can also use store-bought Shrikhand. Add 2 tbsp Sugar (adjust sugar as per desired sweetness). Add Cardamom Powder and Nutmeg Powder. Blend all ingredients together
- Kesar-Elaichi Piyush is ready. Transfer Piyush in a bowl. If you find Piyush thicker, add 1-2 tbsp Milk and blend. Keep it covered and similarly make Mango Piyush
- Transfer Mango Piyush to a bowl after blending
- Refrigerate for 2 Hours before serving
Click to watch recipe video